Standing larger than life - Mahatma Gandhi at Baroda (Vadodara), India


Mahatma Gandhi is one of the best known leaders and a transcendental figure of the world. Mahatma means ‘Great Soul’ and this has been proved beyond doubt by not only his actions throughout his life but also by the recognition of his philosophy of non-violence the world over. Recognising his contribution during 20th century, 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, has been declared as ‘the International Day of Non-Violence’ in 2007 by the General Assembly.

Different countries remember him by organizing different programmes every year and over 70 countries have installed statues of Mahatma Gandhi. 15 Selective statues erected in his remembrance across the world including one in India are being presented in this Hub.

Non-violent resistance of Mahatma Gandhi originated at Pietermaritzburg. In 1893, while travelling to Pretoria, Gandhi was thrown off the train at the instance of a white-man who objected to his travelling in a first class compartment, though he had a valid first class ticket. This famous incident changed the course of life of Gandhi when he vowed to fight out racial discrimination and decided to stay back in South Africa. This statue at Pietermaritzburg marks the centenary of this happening.

Mahatma Gandhi’s statue was erected at The Churchillaan in 1995. This street is named after Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister of England who once refused to receive Mahatma Gandhi commenting that Gandhi was a naked fakir. History has curious coincidences.

This, perhaps, is the only statue showing a younger Gandhi. Unveiled on October 2, 2003, this is quite a tall bronze statue, positioned on a 5 m tall plinth. In his lawyer attire with a book under his arm and his cloak blowing with breeze, the young Gandhi looks quite impressive. Tinka Christopher did a marvellous job by producing this 2.5 metres statue in three months.

It may sound strange but is true that a full size replica of statue of Mahatma Gandhi is available on loan from the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts. The Statue can be hosted by any educational institute or organisation. On October 28, 2010, the entrance gate of Goldman Sachs in Boston was blocked by placing this travelling statue of Mahatma Gandhi with a poster in his hand reading – ‘The World Holds Enough for Everyone’s Need, But Not for Everyone’s Greed’. Earlier such exercises were done by St. John’s Prep and St. Peter’s College to inculcate social justice and non-violence among students in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Located on the north side at 2100 block of Massachusetts Av., N. W. is the famous building of the Indian Embassy. There is a small park, triangular in shape, which accommodates the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in stride. Gifted by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, this statue is a creation of Gautam Pal and is positioned on a ruby red granite excavated from Karnataka. This 8 ft 8 inch bronze statue was dedicated by Sh. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister of India, on September 16, 2000.

The snow clad Embassy Building and the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi following the first North American blizzard on February 5-6, 2010. Gandhi faced many rough weathers during his lifetime.

This statue of Mahatma Gandhi was presented to the Municipality of The Hague by the Surinami Institute of Netherlands, on behalf of the Surinami community. Situated at Hobbemaplein, the Statue was designed by Karel Gomes and unveiled on June 25, 2004.

Installed on October 27, 1990 at the largest Municipal Park ( Kapi’olani Park) on the Hawaiian Islands, the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Waikiki, Honolulu is a major attraction in otherwise busy place having Zoo and Aquarium. Stephen C. Lowe designed it for the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation.

Sculpted by Ms. Ratnabali Kant, this bronze bust was sent by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in September, 2005. This bust has been placed right next to the Parliament building of Cyprus indicating the importance given to it by the Government there.

Sculpted by Gautam Pal, the statue of Gandhi was sent by Indian Council of Cultural Relations for installation at Almaty, Kazakhstan

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Cinelandia at Rio de Janeiro city in Brazil has been installed under the cultural exchange programme. Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence is being propagated by the Government of Brazil and NGOs, among students, youth and even police. His philosophy has an international appeal.

Unveiled in 1968 by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson, this statue of Mahatma Gandhi is a centre-piece of the Tavistock Square. The statue was sculpted by Fredda Brilliant and is a popular statue.

‘My life is my message’ (Ma vie est mon message) is inscribed on this statue at Geneva. The one and a half life size bronze statue was installed on November 14, 2007 to commemorate 60th year of the treaty of Indo-Swiss friendship. This gift of Government of India shows Mahatma Gandhi in a sitting posture while reading a book. Gautam Pal from Kolkata sculpted this statue.

Carleton University in Canada has Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy. Located in new River Building of the University and in front of this Centre a life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi in standing position has been unveiled on October 2, 2011.

Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Plaza Cinco de Mayo is considered to be the cultural heritage of the nation of Panama and is located at a prime site.

The interior of the Gandhi National Museum at Delhi has many articles belonging to Mahatma Gandhi like his pocket watch, spectacles, shawl and blood stained dhoti as also the bullet which hit him. But the exterior has a beautiful statue of Mahatma Gandhi flanked by two children holding dove in their hands on either side as if they are welcoming the visitors to the Museum. The statue has been sculpted by the renowned sculptor Ram Sutar with an inscription at the base of the statue – ‘My life is my message’. This is one of the most visited Museums at Delhi.

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